The Kogi State House of Assembly at its resumed sitting on Thursday mandated its legal representatives to file a contempt of court case against the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yabuku Dogara, the Chairman and the Secretary of the 10-man House Committee that investigated the wrangling that divided the 23 members into two factions. This follows the order by the lower chamber of the National Assembly that Kogi Assembly complex be sealed. Kogi Assembly also constituted a committee to further investigate sponsors of the crises as well as state lawmakers, whose actions promoted disharmony. The House, in its resolution, rejected in entirety the decision of the House of Representatives to take over their functions, hinging their position on the provision of Section 11(5) of the Nigerian Constitution. The Majority Leader, Hon. Friday Sani, had earlier moved the motion for which the resolutions were arrived at. The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Umar Ahmed Imam, who presided over the sitting of 10 members, drew the attention of the House of Representatives to the fact that the issues concerning the legality or otherwise of the impeachment of the former speaker were before the Federal High Court for determination, adding that the National Assembly acted despite a court injunction. In his words, “It is of concern to this Assembly that the House of Representatives should act in flagrant disobedience to the Federal High Court that restrained them from interfering by seeking the appearance of same before it in the determination of such matter as to competence of the House of Representatives to so interfere in the functions of the State Assembly. “The continued action of the House of Representatives, despite the court injunction, is not only prejudicial but, abuse of court process and in fact, insult on the preferred rule of law.” The Speaker also questioned House of Representatives’ “extraneous interest in the dispatch with which it intervened in the feud without making efforts to exhaust the need for employing internal leadership resolution mechanism.” He said for the House of Representatives to have gone ahead in passing a resolution to take over the House without fulfilling the constitutional provisions of Section 11(4) and (5) was regrettable.
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Imam queried “the intellectual abilities of the House of Representatives that could not properly interpret section 11(4) and(5) of the constitution.” He said what the section meant was if there was crises in the State that makes it impossible for the House to sit, not when there was an internal wrangling within the House. According to him, the Kogi State House of Assembly was in session, adding that it met and officially transacted its legislative business at both plenary sitting and at the committee meeting. “I, therefore, call on the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to discountenance the concurrence sought by the House of Representatives and direct same to re-examine the prevailing situation dispassionately with a view to finding lasting solution to the situation,” Imam stated. Meanwhile, the House, paid tributes to late Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Barrister James Ocholi. They described Ocholi’s death as a great loss to Kogi State and Nigeria at large. It would be recalled that some members of the House of Assembly had impeached the former Speaker, Hon. Momoh Jimoh Lawal, who relocated to Abuja with about fourteen of his loyalists. The faction of the embattled speaker has been depleted as some of his members have joined the Umar Ahmed Imam camp, swelling it to ten members.
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